A Chat with Locke Brown, CEO at Decentralised Identity & Authentication Solution: Nu Identity (NuID)

At its core, NuID is a decentralised identity and authentication solution that provides internet users the opportunity to control and own their digital identity. In short, our goal is to return data ownership to the individual by providing the tools for people to use cryptography in an accessible way that allows them to control their identifying online data. We’re doing this by building upon what we call our “zero knowledge authentication” solution, which allows each user to have sovereignty over their web credentials. We created an ecosystem -e Nu Identity Ecosystem – which allows individuals to choose what data to share and when to share it with all platforms that use NuID.

The great thing about the ecosystem is it’s underpinned by a utility token, Kii, and the KiiChain, a new ledger in development that will uphold identity-related data. We believe the ledger is a solution to many of the privacy issues being faced on the website today. The ledger is referred to as “zero-knowledge” because no one, not even NuID, has the ability to see people’s login credentials: they never leave the user’s device. Until now, a “secret” password has not really been a secret. It has been the responsibility and liability of the service provider to store that information, which leaves individuals vulnerable to becoming victims of data breaches.

How it works is – with the NuID ecosystem – credentials are registered on a blockchain as public reference parameters that cannot be backwards solved for the original secret. In the future, more than just authentication credentials will be able to be registered. Future use-cases include but are not limited to KYC and identity verification, certificate and credential issuance, healthcare and vaccination records, digitized assets, education credentials, verified claims, decentralised data storage, and peer-to-peer identity services.

NuID has spent years working on our personal identity solutions in a decentralised world. We have consulted with politicians and government officials around the globe to help educate them on how to properly create data privacy laws, GDPR being the biggest example.

We want to herald an environment in which services become the consumers of user identities and not the other way around. At NuID we provide mechanisms that are different from the status quo, because we know there is a better world to be imagined where sovereignty over who we are and what we share online exists.


What do you think makes this company unique?

There are a few features that stand out.

We were quite early — NuID has been working in the blockchain and data privacy space since 2017 and launched our first application in 2019. We also have 57 claims patented both domestically and internationally.

Our protocol is seamless for users of both Web 2.0 and Web 3.0; we built it as a bridge between them.

I look at what we’ve built as a foundational protocol that any entity can stand upon. It’s a utility, much like your water or power providers, in that it will work and you can rely on it. In fact, you won’t have to think about it. Even the way it’s designed is such that if for whatever reason NuID as a company disappears, the technology and credentials by it will persist.

We use zero-knowledge proofs, or ZKPs, to work alongside blockchain technology which prevents the need for applications or platforms to store user passwords server-side. When deployed, this protocol eliminates the risk of mass credential breaches.

NuID is providing a set of tools that create an ecosystem of Proof of Identity. One of the identity solutions NuID aims to solve is KYC on decentralised exchanges, whereby people can securely provision their credentials through the NuID environment.

I know it’s bold to say but the core of what we are trying to do will upend so many aspects of life: not just for industries, but it will fundamentally change the way everyone interacts with the internet.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

While we have been around since early 2017, we haven’t been ready to bring NuID to the world until recently. When it comes to authentication, failure isn’t an option. And so we’ve taken our time to do things right. In 2022, NuID was ready to launch its ecosystem – which will provide internet users with the ability to own and control their digital identity across the web by using services built upon NuID’s foundational zero-knowledge authentication solution.

And it is upon those foundations, as I said, that giants will be able to stand. I am proud to say that we are here now and we are ready. This moment has been five years in the making and will culminate with the future launch of our KiiChain, which will propel this into greater adoption.

Of course, in this scenario, we face a chicken and egg dilemma. The more services participate in the ecosystem, the more people will join, and then the value and market share will increase. Therefore, one of our goals is to get as many people as possible to register a NuID credential and to have an attestation associated with it representing that they have verified their identity. As this gains traction, I’m positive it will be a web-wide service that is a game changer for all internet users. The decentralised nature of what we’ve built creates an inherently portable and user-owned identity platform.

What can we hope to see from NuID in the future?

As I mentioned, we are in the midst of launching our long-awaited token Kii and built into the token itself is an allocation whereby the first 10 million people to verify their identity and receive an attestation for it will have 10 Kii issued directly to their NuID credential. Not only do we believe the verification incentive is a good strategy, the rollout of the token itself is a way to get NuID into the hands of individuals globally.

Couple that with the scaling out of our developer portal, our planned channel partnership initiative, and next year’s enterprise authentication sales: we will be bridging not only the Web2.0 to Web3.0 gap but the traditional enterprise to crypto individualist to regulatory gap as well.

On the authentication service side, we’ll be rolling out a channel partner program where developers and contractors will be able to earn up to 20% of the cost of the service for any of the clients they deploy NuID with. But more on that to come early next year.